Rania Khalek Dispatches from the Underclass

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The historic deal brokered by China for a Saudi-Iran rapprochement reflects not only a changing region, but a shifting world order. While the US focuses on its proxy war in Ukraine, with US officials essentially blocking meaningful peace discussion both there and in Yemen, its “strategic competitor” China now looks like the adult in the room. Its diplomatic initiatives have become a force for stability in the biggest conflict regions, from Yemen to Syria.

To better understand what’s going on and what we can expect, Rania Khalek was joined by Mohammad Marandi, professor of English literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran, Iran. This is just the first half of this episode with Prof. Marandi. Visit Patreon.com to watch the full video and access other exclusive content.

Rania Khalek of Breakthrough News and Zoe Alexandra of @PeoplesDispatch sat down with Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum, the head of government in Mexico City and one of the founders of Morena, the party of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. She is a rising figure in Mexican national politics and a leading contender for the 2024 presidential elections.

Award-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh joined Rania Khalek on Dispatches to discuss his latest bombshell on how the Biden administration destroyed the Nord Stream pipeline using remotely triggered explosives with the help of the CIA, US Navy divers, and NATO member Norway. This means the US targeted the critical energy infrastructure of its most important European ally, a major violation of sovereignty in what essentially constitutes objectively an act of war against Germany. But Germany is looking the other way.

BT’s Rania Khalek sat down with Sheikh Naim Qassem, deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah, in Beirut, Lebanon. Hezbollah began as a resistance movement against Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon and has since grown to become a regional player across the Middle East. They discussed Hezbollah’s role in Lebanon and the region as well as the group’s view on global developments. This is Qassem’s first interview with an English-language outlet based in the West since the BBC sat down with him in 2019.

Rania Khalek is joined by UN Special Rapporteur Prof. Alena Douhan who returned from a 12-day visit to Syria where she assessed the negative impact of sanctions across the country. Upon her return, she called for the sanctions, which she deems illegal and a violation of human rights, to be lifted immediately. Prof. Douhan holds the UN position of Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on Human Rights.

When the war in Ukraine began, Western officials bragged that they were going to “turn the ruble into rubble” and bring Russia to its knees. Seven months later, as the war and sanctions drag on with no end in sight, it’s the Euro that is turning to rubble and Europe being brought to its knees. It turns out sanctioning your largest gas supplier with no alternative in place, following years of stagnation and an economy-destroying pandemic, isn’t a great idea. To discuss the economic fallout for the Europe and the impact it’s having under neoliberalism, Rania Khalek was joined by Prahbat Patnaik, Marxist economist, Professor Emeritus at JNU, and author of “Capital and Imperialism: Theory, History, and the Present,” co-authored with Utsa Patnaik.

As the U.S. pours a seemingly endless amount of weapons into Ukraine to weaken Russia, Western officials and pundits are very casually setting us up for a potential nuclear war that would be catastrophic for humanity. Meanwhile European hardship continues to skyrocket as sanctions on Russia destroy its economy and cause gas shortages while European leaders and media demonstrate shocking levels of racism and hypocrisy. To help make sense of it all Rania Khalek is joined by Ali Abunimah, director of The Electronic Intifada and author of “The Battle for Justice In Palestine.”

Navid Zarrinnal, a Columbia Univ. PhD and Iranian scholar at Stanford University, joined Rania Khalek to help make sense of the unrest in Iran over the morality police or guidance patrol amid the death of Mahsa Amini and the way Western governments are using a legitimate grievance to promote instability in Iran. They also discuss the way the protests have been exaggerated by Western anti-Iran media, the role of hawkish exiles in promoting false narratives about a “revolution” and the actual conversation about the hijab mandate taking place inside Iran.

To discuss the history of the Arab Gulf states as Western imperial outposts and the damage they have done and continue to do to the left and progressive movements around the world, Rania Khalek was joined by As’ad Abukhalil, a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus.

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To understand what Brazil has gone through in recent years, the significance of the recent election results and what it could mean for the country and the world, Rania Khalek was joined by Michael Fox, a freelance journalist based in Latin America, former editor of NACLA and host of the new podcast Brazil on Fire.